According to ENERGY STAR®, the typical household spends close to $2,000 per year on heating and cooling, and up to $600 of those costs are a waste; the result of energy inefficiencies in every U.S. home.
With the hot months of July and August ahead of us , therefore, consider these simple-to-follow, cost-saving tips for keeping your home cool. None are expensive and each can yield quick results.
First, convert your home’s light bulbs to to CFLs.
It’s well-known that CFL bulbs use less energy than comparable incandescent bulbs, but they also generate far less heat. A “traditional” bulb converts 97.5% of its electricity into heat, which will require extra cooling in your home. CFL bulbs give off heat, too, but at a fraction of the level of an incandescent.
Next, make sure your HVAC air filter is clean. A dirty filter can add up to 7% to your cooling costs because your HVAC unit works harder to move the same amount of air. Change your filters quarterly, at least. If your home has shedding pets, consider changing monthly.
There’s other steps you can take, too, including:
- Keep your shades drawn. By blocking out the sun through your windows, you can lower a room’s temperature by as much as 20 degrees. That will require less cooling.
- Tune your HVAC unit. If you air conditioning unit has not been inspected this year, call a service technician to make sure it’s running optimally.
- Use a programmable thermostat. When you’re not home, set your home’s temperature to be higher. You don’t need to cool an empty home.
And, lastly, use your ceiling fans. A room’s temperature can feel up to 8 degrees cooler when a ceiling fan is running. Just remember that the ceiling fan cools you and not the room. Remember to turn it off when the room’s not in use.
Get customized cooling recommendations from the EPA.